Jacinta Ruru is a Professor of Law at the University of Otago. Her research has focused on exploring Indigenous peoples' legal rights to own, manage and govern land and water including national parks and minerals in Aotearoa New Zealand, Canada, United States, Australia and the Scandinavia countries.
She has led, or co-led, several national and international research projects including on the Common Law Doctrine of Discovery, Indigenous peoples’ rights to freshwater and multidisciplinary understandings of landscapes and writes for several legal publishers including Adams’ Land Transfer and edit the Brookers Maori Legislation Handbook.
How can New Zealand’s state legal system recalibrate to challenge the Crown’s assumption of sovereignty over lands and waters treasured by Māori?
Drawing on the research findings of the other Te Tai Ao foundational projects, this project will lead to new laws, policies, plans and models for government and iwi/Māori communities, and will enable Māori to reassert traditional knowledge in governing land, water and resources to better enable flourishing Māori health, wellbeing and prosperity.